2016 headed for new global temperature record

November ends up as 5th-warmes on record

amaps
November was marked by contrasts between North America and Eurasia. Map courtesy NASA.

Staff Report

November’s average global temperature was 1.31 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, making it the fifth-warmest November on record. According to the latest global state of the climate report from the National Centers for Environmental Information, it was cooler than last year’s record by 0.41 degrees Fahrenheit, but 0.09 degrees warmer than the average for the 21st century.

According to the report, warmer-than-average conditions prevailed across most of the globe’s land areas, with record warmth in parts of central and southeastern Canada, where temperatures were at least 9 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1981–2010 average in many places. Other warm regions included the far northern tier of the United States along with a portion of the southwest, parts of western and southern Mexico, sections of eastern and west central Africa, and regions of some southeastern Asia island nations.

Cooler-than-average conditions were observed across much of the central Eurasian continent, with monthly temperatures at least 9 degrees Fahrenheit below average in central Russia and parts of northeastern Asia. In South America, central Bolivia experienced record cold temperatures during November.

The lobally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.117 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, the second-highest on record for November, 0.34 degrees below last year’s record November warmth. While La Niña cooled parts of the Pacific, other areas were record warm, including the southwest Pacific Ocean, as well as parts of the western equatorial Atlantic north of Venezuela, the North Atlantic waters near Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and part of the Greenland Sea in the Arctic.

Cooler-than-average conditions were observed in parts of the North and eastern South Pacific, along with the equatorial waters where ENSO conditions are monitored, a region of the Atlantic south of Greenland, which has been cooler than average for around three years, a section of the Scotia Sea near the Antarctic Peninsula, and a section of the Indian Ocean off the tip of southwestern Australia.

For the fall period (September-November), the average global temperature was 1.39 degrees above the 20th century average, second-warmest after 2015. The three-month period was characterized by warmer- to much-warmer-than-average temperatures across much of the global land and ocean surfaces. Record warmth was notable across large portions of North America, northern Far East Russia, parts of central western and central eastern Africa, and parts of the western equatorial and southern Pacific Ocean.

No land areas observed record cold temperatures for the September–November period, although parts of central Siberia, eastern Asia, and the Indian Ocean waters off the tip of southwestern Australia were much cooler than average. According to NCEI’s Global Regional analysis, the September–November period was warmest on record for North America and second warmest on record for Africa, behind only 2015, in the 107-year continental record.

According to the report, the year to-date is the warmest on record for Earth, at 1.69 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, and 0.07 degrees warmer than last year’s reading for the same period. The global land-surface average temperature for January-November is 2.5 degrees above average, 0.29 degrees above second-place 2015. Record warmth for the year-to-date was recorded across Alaska, much of western Canada, parts of the northern and eastern United States, much of Central America and northern South America, various regions of Africa, parts of northern and southern Asia, much of southeast Asia island nations, and parts of Australia, especially along the northern and eastern coasts.

According to NCEI’s Global Regional analysis, all six continents had at least a top four warm January–November period, with North America experiencing its highest January–November average temperature since continental records began in 1910.

The average global sea surface temperature for the year-to-date was the highest in the 137-year record, at 1.37 degrees above average, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.05 degrees. Record high average sea surface temperatures for the January–November period were present across the northern Pacific waters near Alaska, the Bering Sea, parts of the southern and western Pacific, a long swath of the western Atlantic stretching to the Gulf of Mexico, parts of the southern and eastern Indian Ocean extending across the waters of the southeastern Asia island nations and Oceania. The only ocean area with record cold temperatures was east of the Drake Passage near the Antarctic Peninsula.

Information compiled from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for November 2016.

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